survivingmiddleage

the ups and downs of life

Archive for the tag “United States”

Who Cares?

project 52, week 22

Have you ever felt that way? Sometimes I feel frustrated with life and feel alone and wonder “Who Cares?” There are days I wonder if anyone does. Then I remind myself a few do. But I mean, like on Facebook I have over 200 “friends” and honestly when I post anything only about 10 or so ever actually respond. So who cares?

It makes me question things. It makes me wonder. It makes me analyze. I know a few reasons for some things. Then other times there is just no reason. I am not one to really unfriend people without a strong reason. But then again maybe who cares? Maybe some of these people just don’t. I don’t know. And I know I am not perfect. But if some people just interacted once in a while, we could work on what I am doing wrong, too. Sometimes I just don’t know. I admit I am sometimes clueless.

I sent a message to a “friend” who I have known since I was 6 years old a month or so ago. It had something in it that meant something to me. I never got a response. I know she read it. So what? Who cares? I really don’t know what is in her head. Should I care? A part of me thinks, “But she has been a part of your life so long.” Another part asked, “Really? Who cares?” If she cared so little as to disregard what I wrote and not even bother to respond, she must not care too much. She could have emailed. I know I work odd hours, but email can come at any hour.

Then there’s the people who only reach out to say something negative about what I post. Know what? Who cares?! I don’t. If you don’t have something positive to say to me EVER, then I don’t care about your negativity. If you only troll my stuff to find the one political or religious post so you can jump all over that shit, then who cares? Did you ever think that I have a birthday? Did you ever think to just say hi? Then who cares? I just don’t care about negativity from someone who obviously really doesn’t care to know the real me.

I know some people are busy with their lives. I get it. But it makes me wonder at times if they care. I have limited time off. VERY LIMITED. I know a lot of people don’t understand my job, but I have told them repeatedly my schedule. I have to work a lot in order to survive. It is just me in the world and if I don’t work my ass off, then I live in a ditch.It’s that simple. I can’t just quit. But it would be nice once in a while for someone to think maybe I might like to do something once in a blue moon. Maybe meet for a drink or out to eat. It would be nice to be asked. I feel like I have asked a lot when I am off for a quick meet or something and have been rejected. But who cares? That’s part of the reason I isolate. It’s easier.

And I know some people might read this and say, “I’ve invited her over on holidays!” I usually work on holidays and I have to be there at my usual time normally and so I have to go to bed as normal. My sleep is usually so hard to come by, that I have to try to stay as scheduled as possible. I don’t get off for holidays like most people. My company is 24/7 and we work our normal schedules year-round. We aren’t allowed to ask off for holidays. If the holiday falls on my normal day off then I have the day off; otherwise, I am working. Also, I don’t do holidays too well anyway except Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Flag Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving. The other holidays usually hurt my heart so much that seeing other happy families makes me hurt more and miss mine even more. I’m sorry, but it is the truth. It’s not meant to be mean but my heart aches so much on those days that I want to hide from the world usually.

I know other people’s lives are busy, but sometimes I would like to feel included. I get told, “You are part of the family.” I don’t feel like it. But then again, I have honestly felt like that most of my life in some way. I tried to feel like part of the family because that was the most important thing in the world to me. Who cares? I do.

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In Defense of Mental Illness

My wife reading in bed. And it wasn't because ...

Mental illness…two words that scare the hell out of some people. It scares those who have never dealt with it. It scares those who remain ignorant to it. Do  you know what mental illness is? It is an illness that affects the mind. It can range in severity. It can be something so simple as a chemical imbalance, which only means that your body isn’t producing enough of a certain chemical to make your brain fire “normally”. Or it can be so severe that you are a danger to others. The range is VAST!

I bring this up because frankly I consider diabetes to be something of a chemical imbalance as well. Your body is  not making the amount of insulin necessary. That’s a chemical imbalance isn’t it? People who suffer diabetes generally aren’t told how terrible they are for having diabetes. No. They are told to go to the doctor and to get treatment. And a lot of times treatment is affordable and their medications and appointments are covered by insurance. This is not always the case for people with mental illness.

People with mental illness can’t always afford their illness. It isn’t always covered by insurance. It is sometimes covered under a special umbrella. There are limitations. There are limits on visits. There are limits on who they can see. There are limits on medications. There are limits on lifetime benefits.

Most people with a true mental illness aren’t instantly cured with a few sessions. It is ongoing. It is painful. It is their life. Just like type 1 Diabetes affects patients for a lifetime, mental illness can affect patients for a lifetime. Sometimes there are situations, such as dealing with a situation, where a person will only need temporary help. The limitations on insurance might be effective for those types of situations, but for people with chronic, on-going issues, it is not helpful.

It pisses me off and pains me when I hear people speak so negatively about people with mental health issues. I feel like people just don’t get it and just don’t care to get it. They feel holier than thou and prefer to stay safe in their bubble-wrapped glass houses. They feel they are untouchable by something that has touched so many. I feel sorry for their ignorance and yet disdainful for their judgments. They are so ignorant to think that the perfect storm couldn’t cause the same situations to affect their lives and so judgmental to assume they could or would handle things differently had they walked in another’s shoes. You can’t look at one aspect of a person’s life and think about how you would handle something (i.e., suicide); no, you have to look at all the pain, losses, grief, etc. they have endured throughout their whole life and see that they went through that while dealing with mental illness. Sometimes they are only in dealing with something that is situational. Other times they are dealing with something that has affected them from the time they were conceived.

Why do I have such a strong opinion on this? I have dealt with mental illness from the moment I was born. I was surrounded by it. I was around people who had it. I have it. My loved ones have. My loved ones had it. It has hurt me in ways I can’t describe. I have had it shape my life. I have worked in it. I understand it. I don’t understand it.

I suppose those answers are confusing. I have dealt with depression for just about as long as I remember. I am not going to discuss all of it. It is personal and it is mine. The severity of my depression has ranges. When my personal life was a wreck and everything was falling apart, I will admit I wanted to die. I didn’t want to just die for a moment. No. I wanted to die. I really wanted to die. But I wanted to live more. I prayed and begged God to help me and He did. I was and am grateful God loved me enough to get through to me. He kept pointing out to me the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This did give me hope at times when I had none. This gave me strength to reach out and get help. I was blessed and lucky. I was able to get help.

I do not consider myself any better than anyone else. Some people can’t hear God because they are too deep in a pit of despair and depression. Some people don’t turn to God because they feel He is the reason for their despair. Because of this, they may do a variety of things to try to feel better. It’s a form of self-medication. When  you feel bad, don’t you try to feel better? Most do. They have probably tried various methods and they’ve failed. They probably feel like a failure. If they don’t kill themselves then they start doing something to numb themselves or make life tolerable. They take a pill or drink something. It can lead to more and more. This can lead to addiction. I’m not saying it is a good way to medicate. But it is often cheaper than going to the doctor. You don’t have to make an appointment. You don’t have to fight with your insurance company to do it. You can just medicate. And it is readily available. (Unless you live in the South and have Blue Laws.)

Mental illness isn’t just one type of illness. As I said, there are many types. If you want to learn more, you can visit NAMI, which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can look up information specifically about mental illness and get answers. You can also look for support and/or programs that might be beneficial. It is a little easier to understand than DSM, which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This is the book that psychiatrists and psychologists use as their bible daily.

I ask anyone reading this to please consider how you could easily be affected by the disease of mental illness. It is a disease as much as diabetes and other things are. You should treat it as such and treat the people afflicted with it with the same respect you would with any other illness or disease. Don’t condemn them. Would  you want someone slinging hateful words at you for something that is consuming  your life that you didn’t ask for and were born with? Try having mercy. I ask others to please remember that you still could be affected by mental illness. If you have a brain, which I hope you do, then something could affect it at some point in your life. My hope is that it doesn’t. But if it does, I hope you have support. I have lived through times where I felt there was no support. Those are the hardest times of all.

I Need Help

Manna

Our local food bank is called Manna Foodbank in Asheville, NC. We have an anonymous donor who has offered $1 for every like that Manna gets from now through December 24th, 2012. That $1 makes 3 meals. We need likes! Can you go and like Manna? Will you spread the word? We need them to get a lot of money! It is an amazing organization that helps a lot of families and organizations throughout Western North Carolina. You can visit their website if you want to find out more at http://mannafoodbank.org/ but the like needs to be on their Facebook wall. Their name is MANNA FoodBank. Please help them out!

Giving Thanks

Be Thankful

There were times in my life when I wasn’t sure I really had much to be thankful for. I felt so empty and alone that I just didn’t see how I could be grateful for that. Over the past couple of years I have learned that while I may feel alone that I am not. I may no longer really be part of any one particular family anymore, I am still Amy.

I am grateful that my mother raised me to be outspoken and free-thinking and willful. Some people think she didn’t do that, but she told me one day in a very long and poignant conversation that she did that because she wanted me to speak out and be heard when I wanted or needed to be. She didn’t want me to feel stifled like she had in her life. So I am very grateful for a Mama who loved me enough to raise a wild-ass daughter, even when it backfired at times. (I know it seems like I am leaving my father out, but I am thankful for him and I do love and miss him. He just didn’t appreciate this particular aspect of me like Mama did.)

I have a few people who are in my life that are in that inner realm and I am grateful for them. I thank them for being a  part of my life. They didn’t duck and run when times weren’t easy. They stood fast and strong and waited for the storms of life to end so that the healing of time could begin. I am thankful. I have a love for these people that is beyond measure. It is rare to find these kinds of people to stand with you like this. Many people will run as soon as there is a moment of discomfort. I found that out the hard way with family and friends. Not all of them, but some. Some I never imagined and some I knew would do so. It hurt. That is why my love for the ones left is so much more powerful.

I am also very thankful for my country. I love the United States. It may not be perfect, but it is home and it is wonderful! I am free to say and think my dreams. Not everyone in this world has that privilege and that is so sad.

I am thankful for my dear cats who love me unconditionally. They make me smile and laugh at times when I don’t want to or don’t think it is possible. Soleil with her sweet, gentle heart. Chloe with her catch-me-if-you-can attitude. Such a difference in personalities and yet we are all a happy little family together. They both just love.

I am thankful for a job. Yes, it drives me crazy often, but it also provides enough money to live meagerly. I have days when I want to scream and tear out other people’s hair, but I think about how many people would like a job and it stops me. I have a job that I rock at. I have made some good friends over those phone lines. I am grateful for that paycheck.

I am even grateful for past relationships. They have shown me what I shouldn’t do and what I should look for. They have opened my eyes to my own flaws and have helped me overcome some of them and have helped me realize that I am stronger than I ever believed possible.

I am thankful for God for believing in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Having lost my family young, I lost that cheering section that most people have. Most of us have a crowd of people telling us we can do things and to just go for it. When you feel lost and alone, it is hard to do that. But thankfully God has more faith in me than I have in myself and He cheers me on and tells me I can do things. I may not have a massive cheering section, but I have a great one!

I am thankful for anyone reading this. It means a lot that anyone has taken the time to read my heart, mind, and sometimes soul. Thank you.

It’s Time To Move Forward

Never in my life did I ever think I would hear of my fellow citizens considering secession. I honestly feel like people are overreacting to the election. Part of the founding of the United States was so that we elect our officials. Not liking election results is one thing, but to go to the extreme of saying you want to secede? I am ashamed of some of my fellow Americans. I am appalled. I haven’t liked a lot of election results, but I have never considered renouncing my citizenship. It is part of who I am. I think those people need to consider if you give it up, there’s no coming back. Leave and you’re gone. You do not have the same rights as us anymore and you are freaking on your own! You no longer have our protection or any other luxuries. You think it is so great to be off on your own? I bet you thought being an adult was easy, too. Was it so simple once you reached adulthood? I kinda doubt it.

I am so proud to be an American. I hope other Americans will remember what it is about and how lucky they really are. Many would gladly trade places with you. Don’t forget that.

 

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